Uganda (MNN) — For the
first time in 20 years, Uganda's
war survivors are going back to their land.
In August 2006, the Lord's Resistance Army and the
government signed a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement that has resulted in a
marked improvement in the security situation in the country's north, as well as
the lives of the 300,000 people living in the refugee camps.
Although the peace accord was in place, there was still too much violence
for people to travel safely. In addition, there have been consistent
reports that both sides were guilty of breaking the accord. However, Ugandans
are cautiously optimistic that a sustainable peace is within reach if the peace
Agreement is respected and the two sides can be made to stay at the negotiating
As a result, the return home has been tentative. Still, the trickle has
begun. Global Aid Network, or GAiN-USA's Kathy Ragan
says they're helping their partner prepare for the influx. The foundation
for partnership has already been established with the Noah's Ark Children's Home.
"We are poised for action. In the past, we have come alongside at that
point of need with the Noah's Ark ministry, as they were building a new
facility to hold the many children, some of them from the north who are now
living in the home."
The orphans they're helping are not only helpless, hungry, and alone, but
they are also prey. The LRA is continually seeking these children to enslave as
child soldiers or sex slaves. These children need Jesus Christ.
Needs among these children are so immense that the earlier programs were not
enough. Noah's Ark then envisioned Children's Town: a safe compound, complete
with dormitories, classrooms, playgrounds, and most of all, love.
Ragan says the gradual development of this work requires a long-term
investment. "There is such a huge need for people to go and to
share the love of Christ. They need to see hands-on caring for them, for
their children, they need to hear that there is a God that loves them and that
He cares about their needs."